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Effectiveness and Bioburden of Microfiber Mops ... microfiber products versus laundered (re-usable) products. Methods • Microfiber mopping pads were examined before and after laundering

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  • Effectiveness and Bioburden of Microfiber Mops Used to Clean Hospital High-Touch Environmental Surfaces

    Clinical Findings Poster

  • Introduction Traditional cleaning procedures for healthcare environments

    used laundered cotton string mops and cleaning cloths.

    Twenty years ago, environmental services departments began

    transitioning to cleaning with laundered or disposable

    microfiber floor mopping pads and cloths. While studies have

    shown the migration to microfiber textiles has improved

    cleaning and disinfection techniques and effectiveness (1-3),

    results of further research summarized below support the

    additional benefits from using disposable (single-use)

    microfiber products versus laundered (re-usable) products.

    Methods • Microfiber mopping pads were examined before and after

    laundering using microscopy to visualize the impact of

    laundry processes (mechanical agitation, high temperatures

    and chemicals) on the microfiber structures.

    • Bioburden (bacteria and fungi) on laundered and disposable

    microfiber mops and wipes was determined using standard

    microbiological techniques based on USP . Numbers of

    viable aerobic microbes (growth on TSA) were calculated on

    a per sample basis and compared to values for “hygienically

    clean” textiles (≤20 CFU/dm2) normalized to standard sizes

    of mops and wipes.

    • The concentration of a quaternary ammonia disinfectant

    (DDAC/ADBAC) was measured after exposure to a

    disposable versus laundered mop pad.

    • The efficacy of disposable vs. laundered microfiber products

    used to clean hospital patient room floors with a detergent

    cleaner was quantified using ATP analysis.

    Results Bioburden recovered from mops and wipes after laundering

    Conclusions • Laundry processes can cause irreversible damage to the

    delicate microfiber structures that are essential for cleaning.

    • Retention and accumulation of microbes and debris can occur

    during repeated use, laundering, transport and storage of

    healthcare cleaning textiles, leading to deactivation of

    disinfectants such as quaternary ammonium compounds and

    increased risk of cross-contamination.

    • The combination of damaged microfiber and contaminated

    textiles may lead to poor outcomes after cleaning with

    laundered mops as measured by methods like surface ATP.

    • Evidence from these studies indicate that laundering of mops

    and wipes can result in products with unreliable quality. A

    viable alternative is to use disposable microfiber cleaning

    products for more consistent cleaning outcomes with no risk

    of cross-contamination.

    References 1. Rutala, W. A., et. al. (2007) Microbiologic evaluation of

    microfiber mops for surface disinfection. AJIC, 35(9), 569-573.

    2. Wren, M. W. D., et. al. (2008) Removing bacteria from hospital surfaces: a laboratory comparison of ultramicrofibre and

    standard cloths. Journal of Hospital Infection, 70(3), 265-271.

    3. Trajtman, A. N., et. al. (2015) Microfiber cloths reduce the transfer of Clostridium difficile spores to environmental surfaces compared with cotton cloths. AJIC, 43(7), 686-689.

    Stability of quat-based disinfectant when exposed to a re-laundered or disposable mop

    Disclosure: The authors are employed by and

    receive salary from Contec, Inc.

    Results Examples of laundered mops pads

    Polyester microfibers

    SEM Micrograph Cross-Section

    Scanning electron micrographs of microfiber flat mops

    Before laundering After laundering

    Dirt and debris entrapped in laundered microfiber mops

    With laundered mops and wipes, 56% (20/36) of samples tested

    had bioburden levels exceeding the standard for “hygienically

    clean” (dashed line). Of those 20, numbers of microbes ranged

    from 240-210,000 CFU/sample. No microbes were recovered

    from unused disposable mops.

    Levels of disinfectant decreased initially after exposure to either

    mop, but continued to decline when exposed to a laundered

    mop. After 15 min. of exposure to a laundered mop, the

    concentration dropped below the level needed for disinfection.

    Data were analyzed for the number of ATP readings (in Relative

    Light Units) that exceed various thresholds often used to

    delineate clean from dirty surfaces. Regardless of the RLU

    threshold, the frequencies of “dirty” samples were substantially

    higher on floors cleaned with laundered microfiber mops than

    floors cleaned with disposable microfiber mops.

    Results ATP on floors after cleaning with laundered microfiber vs.

    disposable microfiber mops

    Effectiveness and Bioburden of Microfiber Mops used to Clean Hospital High-touch Environmental Surfaces

    Mark Wiencek, PhD, David Flynn BS, Peter Kang PhD

    Contec, Inc., Spartanburg, South Carolina

    Effectiveness and Bioburden of Microfiber Mops used to Clean Hospital High-touch Environmental Surfaces

    Mark Wiencek, PhD, David Flynn BS, Peter King PhD Contec, Inc., Spartanburg, South Carolina

  • ph: +1-864-606-4020 | [email protected] | www.contecclean.com

    PCA011 052418

    Conclusions

    Laundry processes can cause irreversible damage to microfiber structures that are essential for cleaning

    Retention and accumulation of microbes and debris can occur during repeated use leading to deactivation of disinfectants and increased risk of cross-contamination

    The combination of damaged microfiber and contaminated textiles may lead to poor outcomes after cleaning with laundered mops per ATP results

    A viable alternate is to use disposable microfiber cleaning products for more consistent cleaning outcomes with no risk of cross-contamination

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